Saturday, August 16, 2008

Employee takes bath, 2

If you are new to the whole, is it MySpace or everybody's space when it comes to looking up people online, this video from Career TV, from MySpace TV, will give you a bit of a primer.

Myspace Profile Career TV

In regards to the bathing beauty, he may have had his profile closed, but a friend could swipe his video, post it online, or just make it go viral in some way. The posting on this blog increases the viral spread of the video. An example of what might look like a harmless prank, giving and giving and giving.

This is why, since the advent of cell phones, you should not flash for trinkets at Mardi Gras. Double for you wild girls. Your image is gone, far beyond your control.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Trouble at the office

Business Week does a special edition, with reader comments and suggestions accumulated online, on Trouble at the Office.

The areas they identified as "troublesome": generational conflict (X, Y and Boomers at it again), "toxic" bosses, work/life balance--especially shutting off the crackberry--and time management.

Employee takes bath in sink

This goes on for about four minutes, so you don't have to watch all of it. I saw it on the news and it will, of course, continue to be a sensation for the next four minutes, and part of the Burger King mythos for a while. But imagine if your birthday stunt was online, or just seen by an employer, you walk into an interview and wham! are you that guy...? He has a nice tattoo for identification purposes, should he ever grow into his face.

Anyway, would it make a difference if this guy showed up for a job as a shelver, technician or a professional librarian? We all do grow up, but some people are literally growing up under a lens, and do you think this should (or will) hurt his chances for further employment?

And, as for the manager, she is clearly shown in the video not going back to the kitchen to kick his ass for bathing in the sink (reasons are explained in video link below). The workers also don't seem very afraid of her coming back and freaking out on them. Unfortunately, she probably had no power to do so--this is fast food management, after all. If you do have any concerns about the manager and what happened to her, check out the television interview where Timothy Tackett, the bather, explains what happened, how he managed to make sure she was occupied, and the fallout.

It probably won't help if the video stays up forever, so I won't keep it up here for too long.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mean librarians make more

I know, I know, this has nothing to do with how much naughty vs nice librarians make, but when I got Mean Librarian Salaries up to 2% in 2008, in my mailbox I had to laugh. Don't be nice: you'll get better pay for nasty. Something I have long suspected.

Anyway, the 2008 APA-ALA Salary Survey is now available for purchase.

You can also get the ACRL salary survey data for free, and remember to check with SLA for their (not free) data. I think this data should be free to independent members so they can negotiate their salaries with better, more trustworthy data, but the last time I suggested this at a presentation, a member of the audience piped, but we can get it at the library. It is, at least, reliable data, and you might want to consult the tables prior to an interview.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Are their more bodies behind the desk?

This video from CBS has been passed around on a few listserves that I am a member of, but the question from the human resource perspective is: are their more librarians or are they working longer hours to accommodate increased user numbers?

The good news is that with more media attention to library usage and more people actually needing the library more, is that there should be some stability in library funding, especially for staff, programming and collections. We hope.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I just want to work with you, I don't want to eat with you

Spotted on 

This interview is supposed to describe a "non-traditional" method of interviewing--going for a walk and coming back for dinner--but it sounds like most academic interview marathons. I like her idea of taking the time to know someone, but here is my problem:

Do I have to accept your food if I am a strict vegetarian? Listen to how she describes it: the meal is all about presentation and fit, still part of the interview. Sounds like I can't abstain.

Now, since I don't eat many shared meals with my co-workers--we have lunch together all the time, but not the same food--this is not really an issue. The last time I looked for work was before I joined the Green Side, so this hadn't been a problem. Now it is: how will I decline the pig on a stick?

Most people will think this is easy. It is not, as most vegetarians will tell you. The reasons that people become vegetarian are usually quite diverse and may be very murky, filled with dark secrets about arteries, could have to do with their religion, or beliefs about peace and nitrates, and, well, I really don't want to explain. Do you really want to hear about my arteries? No more than I want to hear about your Metamucil intake. I just want to say, No thanks, you go ahead. And drink my green tea (though, that's a lie, it would be hi-test black coffee). And not have to answer any more questions about it. I just want to say no.

Vegetarians are not the only people with this problem. Many religions have dietary rules that cross Appleby's off the list of places to go for a chat. You may also be taking out a candidate for lunch during her religion's fast day or period.

You might be able to see where I'm going with this but I'll be clear:
  1. The interviewer just doesn't know about other cultures, religions and their rules.
  2. The interviewer does know and knows she can't ask at the interview, so she is going to see if the candidate passes on the food and the reason for the pass.
Now the nice lady in the video is just trying to find "fit" and is possibly just the jolly Seinfeld cake pusher she appears to be, so I don't think she is Type 2. Type 2 is more insidious, especially if you have to work with a diverse client culture. I should be able to decline politely and move on. What I eat, when, and how, has nothing to do with my job performance.

Do I say skip the meal? Not at all. But I am sure it has come up for others in the past: how do you decline food without insult?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Digital portfolio with delicious

If you haven't used delicious, the social bookmarking site that is now dot-lite, there are quite a few good reasons to try it. You can access your bookmarks anywhere, you can create your own name tag and let people follow your work and research--I use this for conferences, very handy--and now, you can use it to make your own online portfolio. The idea, for educators, comes from Michelle Martin, based on a suggestion from Web Upon but I spotted it on a post from weblogg-ed (follow the footpath). Here's how it works:

You look for your online articles, add them to your delicious bookmarks and tag them with your name and portfolio (mynameportfolio). This means that you can keep your articles in order, people can subscribe to your feed of published works--or you can put it on your resume--and employers, or people who are interested in you, can subscribe to your feed. It should also help you to keep track of your work--for as long as it stays online. You should still keep your backfile, but this is one method that you can use to make your work accessible to others. (Explore workology if you are looking for a place to put your work artifacts online.)